Camino Del Sol Station Tour
Detective Legaspi and Detective Bolano led a newly hired group of eighteen Community Assistants (CA) from Camino Del Sol on Tuesday June 13, 2016 to acquaint them with the UCI Police Department. The meet and greet was organized between Det. Legaspi and Alex Rubio, the General Manager of American Campus Communities (ACC) who have known each other for eight years. They developed their friendship when Det. Legaspi first joined UCIPD in 2007. Alex also knows Sergeant Acuna and has consistently reached out to our department for these types of tours so that the American Campus Communities (ACC) staff can build a friendly relationship with us and to acquaint his staff with the police officers who are there to help in any event. We appreciate Alex’s pro-active effort in organizing these types of events because it shows his commitment to maintaining safety in his community as well as helping the students develop friendships with some of our officers. He does not want them to be afraid to contact us and know that we are always there to support them.
As a department we would love to see the other communities such as VDC, VDC Norte, and Puerta Del Sol do a similar program for their community assistants. Perhaps Alex will help us lead the way by convincing those general managers to follow suit. The group of CAs were given an introduction to our department and how many officers and professional staff we have working here. They were surprised to learn that we are, in fact, larger than some municipal police departments in southern California such as the Los Alamitos Police Department. Barbara and Sandra were the first stop of the tour as they warmly greeted the group of students and introduced themselves. They showed the CAs the inner workings of the dispatch center and by demonstrating and explaining how dispatchers operate and the tools that they use, it provided a clearer understanding of what happens after they call 9-1-1 in the event of an emergency. It is the intention to educate the group on the entire process so that they know how to effectively communicate with our dispatchers. They explained that depending on where a 9-1-1 call is made on campus, they may be connected to Irvine PD, California Highway Patrol, or UCIPD; however, Barbara advised them not to panic and simply tell the operator that they are onUCI campus and they will be quickly transferred to our dispatchers. The next part of the tour led them into the holding cells. “What’s the most number of people you’ve held in these cells?” asked one CA. With his famous grin, Det. Legaspi responded, “Well there’s eighteen of you in here right now, so…that’s going to be our record!” It seems that no matter the age, the vehicles are always the highlight of these tours as the CAs went outside to view a patrol car. They were allowed to sit inside and even activate the lights and sirens. After all the excitement settled down, the detectives pulled the CAs into a group for a Q&A session. All types of questions were asked ranging from how to respond to physical altercations, what to do when a police officer arrives, and how to recognize those who are exhibiting suicidal thoughts. Both detectives did a spectacular job of answering candidly and kept the students engaged throughout the conversation. Overall, the take-home message to the students was that UCIPD is always here to help them and we encourage them to say ‘hi’ to our officers when they see them around!